Our house has been on the market for over a week now. We’ve had several showings and one potential offer we’re working on, doing the whole counter-offer thing an all. We made a lot of changes to our house to get it ready – we had the outside painted, the carpet replaced, and finished the second bathroom. It’s been crazy!!! Having to get out of the house with two little kids for showings on short notice is not the easiest thing in the world but we’ve made it work and kept the house in order so prepping it for showings is pretty easy. The question I get asked most often is how do I keep the house clean during this time, especially with kids? I thought I’d expound on that today.
- Purge. Don’t hold on to things for no reason. Get rid of the clutter and the crap. Clear out those nooks and crannies so you have space to put away the things you use regularly. Cut down on the knick-knacks and pictures and home accessories. Keep it simple.
- Put things away after you use them. This was our biggest adjustment. But after just a week we’re used to it. Hang up your jacket when you walk in the door. Put the mail away after you open it. Stash your products in drawers or baskets in the bathroom after your shower. Unload the dishwasher as soon as it’s done running so you don’t get dirty dishes piling up on the counter. A little bit of effort every day adds up to a lot in the long run.
- Get and stay caught up on laundry. I spent a weekend doing nothing but laundry. Every towel, bed sheet, and item of clothing in our house was washed. And I folded it all and put it away. Now I do small loads a few times a week as I need to, and put them away immediately.
- Store things you’re not going to need. We packed up our winter clothes and my maternity wardrobe (which I won’t need for a while) in Space Bags to free up space in our closet. We packed up all the books and movies we don’t regularly use in bins so we could get rid of the big ugly black bookshelf in our family room. .
- Put away some toys. We took down our kids’ train table and put it in the basement along with about half their toys. What’s left fits in the toy box in our family room and they’re perfectly happy with the situation. All it takes is a couple of minutes to pick up the toys and toss them in the toy box, put on the lid, and the family room is clean. One of the best decisions we made.
- Clean a little bit every day. Sweep the kitchen floor. Dust (get thee a Swiffer duster, I love that thing!). Keep a towel in the bathroom to wipe down the sink and counter quickly after use. Run the vacuum in one room when you have a few minutes. Just little things. You don’t have to deep-clean the house every day.
Doing these things has been great for our family. For years I have struggled with keeping the house clean but forming these new habits out of necessity has been amazing. We are definitely going to be carrying this over to our next home! And we will be simplifying as well. When you have less stuff, you have less stuff to keep clean. Simple as that.